Staying organized is a result of building habits that are simple and sustainable. This post recommends a few habits that can assist you in staying organized throughout the year.
If you are not a naturally organized person, you can set a reminder for yourself to help you get better at it. Be patient through the small changes and failure. If you’ve never been organized before, the change will not happen overnight. Let’s get started!
Habit 1: Purge.
A great start to being organized throughout the year is to begin by purging. Depending on how special of a hoarder you are, schedule either a few hours or several days to get this done.
Things you will need:
- 3 boxes (medium or large cardboard boxes will do)
- trash bag(s)
Tip: It’s better to estimate more time than less because purging usually always takes longer than anticipated.
Focus on one zone at a time. Start with a smaller area, which could be just your backpack or the top of your dresser and then move on to bigger areas like your closet. The idea is not to let a huge pile of clutter demotivate you from finishing the job.
The three boxes:
Assign and label a box to contain items that you need time to think about. Keep the filter thin so that you don’t end up putting everything that you have in there. Items of sentimental value, like cards, letters, trinkets can go in there.
The second box could contain things that don’t belong to the area that you are organizing but you don’t have an assigned place for them yet. Again keep the number of items that you put in this box to a minimal.
Get rid of all the things that you don’t need. Sell them or give them away. Put everything that you plan to sell or give away in the third box.
Use the trash bag to throw out anything you plan to throw out and take it out as soon as you are done.
If you have a lot of items in the boxes, sort them out soon after instead of keeping them in those boxes until your next purging session 🙂 Complete one zone fully before moving to the next to keep the workload manageable.
Getting rid of things that you no longer need does not need to be limited to just once a year but in reality it’s better to have time scheduled once a year to get them done.
Habit 2: Contain
It’s usually the small things that create the appearance of clutter unless they are neatly contained.
Things you will need:
- Boxes/baskets/small bowls
- Labels and markers
Use wrapped boxes or baskets to contain trinkets, magazines, stationery, jewelry and small fitness equipment. Organizing does not have to be an expensive affair. Make it a habit to contain piles and stacks to make them stay neat.
Habit 3: Designated storage.
One reason why we can’t find our keys and wallets just when we need them is because they land up wherever we decide to drop them when we get home. Be mindful about picking easy access storage spaces.
One important key to designating storage areas is to make them as functional as possible.
Things that are used everyday need easier access than things that you need only once a year. In order to maximize your limited storage space, store things according to the season. For example, umbrellas need to be within easy reach in the monsoon and snow boots need to be easily accessible during winter. Winters need more coats and summers need more slippers. In winter, kitchens might be stored with more soup spices and the crock pot might claim a permanent corner. If you don’t need them for the summer, put them away and reuse the space for them for summer things. So plan to switch things around according to your needs in order to keep your organized system functional throughout the year.
When things are easier to find because of your organizing habits, it will serve as a motivator to stay organized.
Habit 4: Put things in their proper place immediately.
If you keep throwing things where they don’t belong, it won’t be long before your space is cluttered again. A few extra seconds to put something in its right place will help save several minutes of searching tomorrow. Put things away where they belong right away and they won’t get out of control.
The little foxes ruin the vine.
A few months ago, one of our storage unit covers came off its hinges. Instead of dealing with it as soon as we could, we ended up ignoring it for a while because life got busy. What that resulted in was a pile of random things stacking up all around it. Somehow even the items that did not belong to that storage unit, landed in its messy pile. We finally got the unit fixed and tidied up the corner.
Being proactive in staying organized will enhance productivity in other areas of your life.
Habit 5: Schedule organizing at regular intervals.
Regularly schedule a few minutes either on a weeknight or weekend to tidy up your space. Some days will be easier than others but staying organized is a result of small changes that you make everyday.
Start with a little at a time.
So go ahead and put aside a few hours for the next few weekends/weekdays to conquer one section at a time. Organizing in manageable portions and consistently managing your space can be life changing.
Do you have other tips that help you stay organized? Share them in the comments below.
The Overseas Magazine Editor